Friday, October 31, 2008

The Day is HERE!!

Halloween '08
I am such a Halloween buff. My house has been decked out since early September and I love this day. It is so much fun to me and I have passed this on to my kids. As I was home baking some awesome treats, and some tricks too, I was IM'd by a friend who said that she doesn't celebrate Halloween because her boyfriend believes its "The Devil's Holiday"... and she has small children! Now I try to be open minded and not post here some of my beliefs because it's not about that; it's about my baking and pictures but I just couldn't help it with one. First when did all celebrations or holidays have to be religiously based? And what is wrong with good wholesome kids love dressing up and being something they are not and getting to go door to door late at night and running and playing in the neighborhood and it's all allowed. We never discuss evil spirits ect it's just about the fun. And I thought too, well maybe it's about the candy but you know what if people were handing out freakn' rocks I would still do it and then compare size and colors to my friends. So..without sounding too upity... Get out there today and have a DAMN blast..And learn to relax, smell the crisp fall air, listen to the kids laughing, look at their genuine smiles, and have some chocolate. That's my plan for the evening!!! Especially the chocolate part :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday's Vampire Suicide

Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes
The recipe of choice this week comes from I was glad about because you know all the room mama's are makin cupcakes and cookies this week. I am also working on the vampire cookies and cupcakes found at the coolest love this site. But as far as this batch of cupcakes they were decent. I substituted the "Swirled" milk chocolate and peanut butter morsels for the bittersweet chocolate. I thought this would make it more kid friendly for the parties. I also turned them into mini cuppies for bite size eating. With the thought of tons of kids devouring cupcakes well one bite seemed easier.
The unfortunate suicide was due to one vampire 'jumping' off the top of the muffin stand and taking another down with him. It was horrible. On the upside I got to eat two additional cupcakes and you can now see the underside of the poor cupcake.
I made mummies and spiderwebs also. I hope the kids enjoy them. I loved making these. The recipe yields 36 minis by the way.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Cranberry is the theme for November's Cupcake Challenge. Seems quite appropriate given the time of year. I am undecided on if I am going to participate this month. Seem to be in a bit of a "rut" as my husband says. I have decided to maybe just relax a bit and reevaluate my priorities. Sometimes passion takes a backseat to responsibility right??? Needless to say, growing up my family never incorporated cranberry into our Thanksgiving mom always made starches and fats...we had the tendency to avoid any fruits. Well..there is the fruit salad with creamy cool whip but i think that was usually it. I have avoided many new "flavors" in my life due to my upbringing but I am more comfortable branching out now that I am older. The first time I ever had pumpkin pie was last year when I decided that the recipe on the can was lame and I challenged my sister to a 'bake off'. This was my first taste of food competition... No one would commit of course to the better flavored pie but I will post mine and you can make it and see for yourself as it was the recipe that converted me and in fact made pumpkin one on my "treat" flavors and when I was debating my birthday cake choices this was number 2 only under ice cream cake. I opted for the ice cream cake because I didn't want to make it myself...lazy huh! Anyways...I was planning on making a quick post and I got long winded again... I will see how things go but as of now....Cranberry is a thought and not an action ( yet )

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cheese Challenge Prizes and Deadlines

Voting will begin on Sunday, October 26 at 12 noon at NO ONE PUTS CUPCAKE IN A CORNER, and will be open through Thursday, October 30 at 12 noon. PLEASE PLEASE VOTE FOR ME HERE...IT WOULD BE THE COOLEST HALLOWEEN GIFT EVER...

I am competing for these wonderful prizes...

ETSY artist ART ON THE MENU with her awesome little cardboard cupcake, her link is:
a pair of cupcake earrings from Lots of Sprinkles at
As an added bonus for October only we have a sassy and sweet T from Bakelove Bakewear,

as well as to our corporate sponsors

HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
1-800-Flowers .

All of the "Cheese" entries can be viewed here

Go to IronCupcake:Earth cuphub at to become a part of the excitement.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Strawberry Visual Stimulation

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

This one is a keeper for sure! I am not a big pound cake fan because I don't like more butter taste than sweet taste in my cupcakes but this one has it all... the denseness that you like from pound cake, moistness from the cream cheese, and of course the added strawberry stripe. I really liked the cupcake. I topped it first with cream cheese ice cream which was a first for me both eating and making. I think I should have let the cream cheese soften a tiny bit more or whipped it longer but it is amazingly rich and not overly sweet. I also used xylitol instead of granulated sugar. I do this a lot because I try to avoid sugar ( Ha Ha Ha ) and this makes me feel better about taste testing. Finally the cupcake has a Grand Mariner Ricotta Cream and Grand Mariner soaked strawberries. I love using Grand Mariner in my glazes and for soaking my berries. YUM is the best adjective for this baby. And it was just as much fun to photo as it was to bake and eat.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

this made 6 large/jumbo cupcakes

1 4 oz package cream cheese - room temp
3/4 cup butter - room temp
1.5 cups white sugar
3 eggs - room temp
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and sugar 6 jumbo cupcake tins or a 10 inch tube pan.
In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth; take your time creaming the mixture. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy; about 3-5 min.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Beat for about 2 min after last egg Add the flour all at once and mix in just until incorporated ; don't over mix. Add vanilla.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 for 31-34 min with jumbo tins or for 1 hour and 20 minutes with tube pan. With tube pan check for doneness at 1 hour. Cool for 5 min in tin and then to rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Ice Cream

8 oz cream cheese - softened
1.5 cups milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to directions. Let harden in freezer two hours before enjoying

Grand Mariner infused Ricotta Cream

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)

Place the ricotta in a small strainer set over a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to drain the excess liquid. Transfer the drained ricotta to a food processor or blender, add the brown sugar and Grand Mariner; process until smooth. The ricotta mixture can be made up to 8 hours in advance, covered and kept refrigerated.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Maple Pumpkin Cupcake

Maple Pumpkin Cupcake

This was a fun one to bake. I tried my best to incorporate my favorite fall flavors in this one. I also baked these in my "giant" cupcake tin so the recipe yields 6 huge cupcakes. They were so moist and flavorful. Definitely one to make for Thanksgiving week treats (yea...I can eat for a week prepping for Turkey Day) I loved the mixing of raisins, maple, pumpkin, and cream cheese. I thought the cream cheese filling added a cool "stripe" in the cupcake too.

Pumpkin Batter

2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp nutmeg

pinch allspice

1 stick butter, room temp

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup rum soaked raisins ( I used Captain Morgan Spiced Rum ) YUM!

1/2 cup chopped pecans ( I omitted these with regret now )

1/3 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds for topping ( I omitted these too )

Cream Cheese Filling
1 (8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened

1/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. cornstarch

1 egg

2 Tbs. Heavy whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

In medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Blend in sugar and cornstarch until well blended. Add egg, cream and vanilla; beat on low speed until well blended.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

3 TBSP unsalted butter

1 tsp maple extract

1 cup powdered sugar
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400. Line tins with liners or Pam. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. With stand mixer and paddle, beat butter on med until soft. Add both sugars and continue to beat until light and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating one min after adding each, add vanilla. Lower the mixer speed to low and mix in pumpkin and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients in a steady stream only until they disappear. Avoid over mixing. Stir in raisins and nuts. Add 1/2 batter to tins, top with cream cheese filling, top with remaining 1/2 of mixture to get tins about 3/4 or completely full if you want a large "muffin top". Sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Bake about 25 min or until done. Leave in tin 5 min and then transfer to rack to cool completely. Once totally cooled, Ice cupcake and garnish with chopped pecans and raisins. ENJOY!